Phil Retrospector – Bluebird Blackout.
Mash-ups are necessarily multi-dimensional constructs, such that there is not just the one track to listen to, but also the constituent parts to be aware of. In this case, Bluebird Blackout is made up of four elements: Charles Bukowski – Bluebird, Muse – Blackout, All Angels – Flower Duet, Bob Dylan – Man of Constant Sorrow, none of which I’m really familiar with, with the possible exception of the song from Lakmé by Delibes (aka the BA beach face advert).
Not that that’s essential. It just gives a deeper understanding of what the mash-up artist is striving to achieve. Listening to the track itself, there’s a sense of Weltschmerz, of weary sadness, of resigned reflection, of understanding of human limitations and failings.
And yet, at the heart of the track, there’s the delightfully beautiful Flower Duet, protected, surrounded and yet not engulfed by the sheaves of sad song quotes around it.
The sedate pace of the constituent songs fits the mood of meditative meeting between Buchowski, Bellamy, Delibes and Dylan, balanced but not encroaching on each other.
This mash-up is not gimmicky musical punnery. This is striving after expression, the work of somebody who listens to disparate songs and hears how the sounds could work together in new and evocative forms.
It is calming and moving.